Know How / Environment

Get the latest news on environmental, wildlife and rewilding issues on farms and farmland. Keep up-to-date on a range of farm environment matters including climate change, Defra’s greening policies and environmental compliance. Get advice on measures to improve your farm’s environmental credentials and sustainable future, such as planting trees, reducing your carbon footprint and reducing waste.

Must reads: Coping with climate change

Practical advice

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Biodiversity Net Gain – what is it, how will it work?

Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) requires the effect on biodiversity of a new development to be quantified, and following development, the overall amount of natural habitat to be enhanced and left…


Business Clinic: What should I consider for reservoir plan?

Whether you have a legal, tax, insurance, management or land issue, Farmers Weekly’s Business Clinic experts can help. Building a reservoir is a challenge in itself. Bringing in 'waste' materials…


Ways to reduce dairy greenhouse gas emissions to hit targets

Dairy farmers can make some easy strides to improve their carbon footprint as pressure mounts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from farms. The NFU has set a target for farming…


7 ways to flood-proof soils and improve drainage

Arable growers need to follow a seven-point plan to improve their soil structure especially if, as expected, new farm support payments will depend on healthy soils. With many arable areas…


Why surviving oilseed rape crops are worth persevering with

Oilseed rape growers should persevere with their crops this spring and apply early nitrogen fertiliser, to help combat low soil mineral nitrogen levels after the wet winter. Many crops have…


How growers can help farming become carbon net zero 

Arable farmers will have a key role in helping the farming sector become net zero within 20 years, by locking up carbon and making better use of fuel and fertilisers.…

Case studies

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Suffolk pig producers see multiple benefits from pollinators

Combining outdoor pig rearing with planting pollinator strips has helped Suffolk-based Dingley Dell Pork raise sow performance, help the environment and provide a marketing boost for their direct sales business.…


How Welsh beef farm is in top third for low carbon emissions

A Welsh beef farm is achieving carbon emissions that are 17% lower than average. Paul and Dwynwen Williams run a herd of 60 suckler cows and intensively finish 120 dairy-bred…


Ethical 'cow-with-calf' dairy targets premium market

Mainstream dairy farming requires that calves are separated from their mothers soon after birth, but one farm business, the Ethical Dairy, is employing a more natural route. David and Wilma…


Low-input cropping slashes costs and risk for tenant farmer

After years of struggling to make his conventional arable rotation pay, a tenant farmer has begun trialling a system that rewards him for environmental gains rather than bumper yields. John…


Winter barley abandoned for triticale on Shropshire farm

A Shropshire grower is swapping to triticale this spring after a wet autumn prevented him from drilling more than half of his winter barley area. With its tolerance to drought,…


How irrigation is changing on an AHDB potato demo farm

The economic and environmental costs associated with irrigating 440ha of potatoes at AHDB’s Strategic Potato (Spot) Farm North prompted a rethink on the best way to maintain product quality in…


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Farmers plan nitrate trading system for Poole Harbour

In an innovative solution to protecting wildlife from agricultural nutrients in the Pool Harbour catchment area, farmers are working with the NFU and Wessex Water on a scheme to reduce…


Climate impact of grass-fed cattle overestimated, says study

Cattle that graze pasture rich in white clover produce just half the amount of nitrous oxide than previously thought, according to a study carried out by Rothamsted Research. The findings…


Can beavers and farms work together on flood control?

Hunted almost to extinction more than 400 years ago, beavers have gradually made their return to the UK. They hold protected status in Scotland and roam free in parts of…


Is regenerative agriculture the future of arable farming?

A growing number of farmers are overhauling their systems and are now farming in a way that has little impact on soil health, includes greater diversity and leads to more…


Why government needs to listen to farmers for flood strategy

Farmers could have a key role to play in helping reduce flood risks faced by UK communities – but only if the government puts its money where its mouth is,…


Environmental Land Management scheme: The detail unpicked

A three-tier Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme is being proposed by government as it seeks to move away from farm support based on direct payments to one centred on “public…


What farmers need to know about ash dieback

Few farm businesses will be spared the cost of dealing with ash dieback, and for those with infected trees straddling public roads, bills could run into thousands of pounds. Landowners,…

Latest environment news

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Young farmers challenged to find net zero solutions

Young farmers are being challenged to come up with ideas on how the UK agricultural industry can reach its goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040. The National…


Anger after charity blames poultry farmers for river pollution

Farm leaders in Wales have spoken of their anger and frustration after an environmental charity claimed poultry farmers were harming rivers. NFU Cymru has contacted the Wye and Usk Foundation…


Bayer and NFU battling to overturn neonicotinoids ban

Lawyers acting on behalf of the NFU are in court battling to overturn a ban on neonicotinoid pesticides, which have been linked to harming bees. The appeal against the European…


Wildlife Trust buys up arable land for rewilding project

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust has secured 40ha of arable farmland in the East Wight – and it plans to transform the area into a rich wildlife haven. The 100-acre…


Planting more trees could backfire, warn government advisers

Increased tree planting on farmland is essential if the UK is to meet its carbon net-zero targets, but care must be taken to ensure they are the right trees in…


Farmers unite for record-breaking bird count

More than 1,500 farmers battled challenging conditions to take part in the 2020 Big Farmland Bird Count (BFBC) –the highest participation since it launched in 2014. Organisers the Game &…


Nutrient-dense beef production emissions lower than chicken

Scientists at Bristol University have proposed an alternative method of evaluating livestock emissions that more accurately reflects the nutritional benefits of beef. They claim that incorporating a measure known as…


Welsh flood grant scheme opens to help storm-hit businesses

A £2.5m flood relief fund has been opened to help Welsh farm businesses recover from damage and disruption caused by storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge. The Business Flood Relief Grant…


Herefordshire farmer reveals flooding devastation

A Herefordshire farmer has revealed the damage caused by weeks of heavy rain and flooding – including ruined crops and debris strewn across his farm. Ally Hunter Blair’s fields in…


Farmers invited to bid for £40,000 of flood control funding

Farmers in Somerset have the chance to bid for a share of £40,000 to fund natural methods to tackle flooding on their land. Somerset Rivers Authority (SRA) and the Environment…


Farmers invited to have say on flood management

MPs have invited farmers to have their say on the government's approach to flood-risk management. An inquiry scrutinising the effectiveness of flood-risk management was launched by the Environment, Food and…


Farm groups join forces to tackle UN on greenhouse gas

Farm leaders want the United Nations (UN) to adopt a more accurate measure of global warming – arguing that current methods wrongly place too much blame on livestock. Industry organisations…


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Video: Farmer appeals for 'common sense' after crop flooded

Worcestershire grower Michael Lewis' recently drilled crop of spring wheat has been ruined by the floods. After wet weather scuppered his chances of drilling wheat last autumn, Mr Lewis took…


Video: Farmers in race to save in-lamb ewes from floods

A farming family in Herefordshire devastated by heavy flooding have described the race against time to save heavily in-lamb sheep from drowning. When lambing sheds housing 250 ewes began to…


Video: Why farmers are facing recycling headaches

Plastic and tyre waste disposal is a growing problem for agriculture. Environmental regulations require farmers to dispose of waste through reputable waste management services and they need to show proof…


Video: Why cattle and a combine are environmental champions

Farming is often painted by environmental groups as the bad guy but a project to improve water quality and carbon storing are proving that farming holds some of the answers…